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All posts for the month December, 2015

Letting Go

Published December 29, 2015 by sarcasmica

I wrote a few days ago about being perceived as a villain by my long ago step family. This news was brand new to me as i’ve not had contact with them in 11 years or so. 

I know I need to let it go. I have no control over the situation and forcing myself into it will only make it worse. Now comes the hard part for me in letting it go. I hold onto things for a long time. I hold onto emotional things for a long time. This family was something put on a pedestal and often made much more important than I was, and as a kid I took that to mean they must be really good people. They must be good to garner so much attention and admiration by their mom and my dad.

Turns out that’s not the case, and I need to walk away from the drama and the hurt they insist on perpetuating for themselves.

And I have to let it go.

But there’s this thing called the internet that opens all these windows to where I shouldnt be going. It’s not helpful. It’s nostalgic for me, and it takes me to a place where I have a dad again. Where he’s alive and available on the other end of a phone. 

It’s not real. It’s just really really painful and it serves no purpose, so I have to walk away. 

This feels a lot like saying goodbye, and to leave something messy and angry and misunderstood turns out to be really hard. 

But letting it go is what I have to do for myself and for the people around me who deserve a happy wife and mom. 

So i’m walking away from someone else’s anger and hate and realizing that the responsibility for all of it is their own. The tragedy is how unnecessary it is..but again, they chose that for themself. 

Now I get to work on not looking back. Rear view mirror removal.

I’m trying. Being a grown up is hard sometimes. Being a decent one is even harder. 

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Coming Down

Published December 28, 2015 by sarcasmica

I do not know if it was the vacation, the holidays, or the drama, but I have not stopped eating, except to sleep, for the last 10 days!! I am going to be sorely punished tomorrow when I go to work out. … punished by myself, to be clear, not my trainer. I have at least come to the understanding that I am the one responsible for my lack of cardio/energy/vegetables.

The vacation mind set didn’t even completely sabotage my new eating choices. I did try to be relatively responsible with the breakfast buffet. Breakfast is by far my most favorite meal of the day, and when it’s in buffet form in the past I have always seen it as a challenge with the finish line being a nap. This time I weighed the planned daily activities, tried to work in some fruit, split the omelet with my husband, and even a few times opted for oatmeal! (w/brown sugar and cinnamon and cranberries) We were definitely moving and burning calories in the form of walking/hiking/steps in SNOW. Like full blown feet and feet of snow as more snow was falling. We walked daily from one end of the village to the other.

The problem came after a couple of days, I did the math. I figured if I was going to walk in the freezing cold snow, I can damn well enjoy the indoor time. We saw 2 movies, so we did popcorn. I had popcorn with a side of some candy just to be sure I would enjoy the experience… :oI

We did nice dinners, but one night split a plate. It was the one night I allowed myself pasta.

Y’all, I have not had pasta in months. It was heavenly!

And then there’s all the road trip food and meals-on-the-go  i.e. fast food.

Then came Christmas. Ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans (hey, at least there was a fresh vegetable!) and all the yummy leftovers for two days after. We had 3 kinds of pies. … I had 2 kinds.

And it just kept going. It was like a food snowball. It started small, and then finished tonight with pizza and Christmas cookies.

Yes, tomorrow is gonna suck balls, but i’ll get through it one way or another. Either standing or fainting. … but i’ll get through it. .. right?!

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Villains

Published December 26, 2015 by sarcasmica

My family has a healthy dose of drama just like any. I had very branched family tree. My parents divorced when I was 8. When I was away at summer camp at 12, my dad decided to get remarried.

It wasn’t important for me to be involved or even present, apparently. I had met her once before they tied the knot… I guess that’s something…?? We got along fine. When I saw them. My father was definitely not eligible for Dad of the Year ever, but that was his problem. I didn’t have an actual relationship with my dad or his wife until I turned 18.

Things were ok when I spent time with them. She was a nice lady, but very intense, and their lives were very much about her grown kids and families and not so much about my dad’s kids. I was the only one of his 3 kids that visited or spoke to him, so I guess that’s why we were considered as an afterthought.

My dad was married to her for 12 years before he died. They had been separated once during their marriage, but ultimately decided to make it work. I was the one by her side when it was time to make funeral arrangements, meet with the funeral director, make plans for a casket, the service, the obituary, all of it. Just me and her.

After the funeral, I kept in touch. She met the guy I was dating, I spoke to her candidly about how difficult it is to date someone who has kids. She was supportive but cautious. Three years after my father died, I moved to another state with my now husband. The same guy she met. Before leaving, I called and tried to get a hold of her repeatedly. She is Mormon and I figured she was just disapproving of me moving in with him before getting a ring. For whatever reason, she completely ignored my attempts to see her before moving.

I tried to call and send cards after moving, but it seemed she had moved also. Never sending me forwarding info, never calling back.

I took it for what it was worth and moved on. Recently, I found her daughter on Facebook after 11 years of silence. She seemed to be a rare user of the site, so I sent a message and then let it lie.

Today, I received a response after a month or so… it was hard to read and took me completely by surprise. It seems the story they have run with is that I broke my stepmother’s heart and abandoned her immediately after my father died, and I should “stay away”.

I don’t do injustice well. I have a real hard time walking away from a situation where someone has the complete wrong and false idea of my actions or behavior. I feel a need at the very least to defend myself and be honest. I cop to my mistakes. I can admit when I’ve done something wrong to someone. This, however, was not that scenario.

This has proven completely frustrating and very upsetting to me. This person I barely knew because she never felt my father was good enough for her mom, has told me some very untrue and hurtful things she – and my step mother- believe about me. It turns out my stepmother is not doing well, health wise, and i’ve said my peace as far as facts, i’ve kept it short and respectful, and it’s fallen essentially on deaf ears.

I am fine with walking away knowing I did what was right, and I was a supportive and present family member. I have a real issue with them having an opinion of me based on false truths.

So what do I do with that? No resolution. No acknowledgement that the past did not just happen to this person. This woman did not simply lose a husband and move on. I lost my father. I buried my father at 25. I continued a relationship with a woman who was married to my dad despite how painful it was to constantly relive places and things we did all together that were now being done with just the ghost of him.

And yet i’m somehow a bad person because I did not lay down roots beside someone who’s own actual children left her to deal with her loss alone?

Nope. Sorry. I do not take on other’s blame or guilt or regret. My shoulders have room for my own mistakes, my own responsibilities, and the happiness of my family.

I’m going to move on and be confident in the knowledge i’ve done what I could. I didn’t wrong anyone 11 years ago, and it’s not my job to change anyone’s mind about a perceived truth.

Still sucks, though.

 

 

Santa Guilt

Published December 24, 2015 by sarcasmica

I am finding myself feeling guilty and almost ashamed of how much Santa has brought the kids this year. I hope i’m not alone in this. Growing up, we didnt have a whole lot. I never felt deprived on Christmas, but picking things from the Sears catalog was always a giant waste of time for me. I knew I wasnt getting any of that stuff.

Now I can get ‘stuff’, and like most kids, mine really do not need the amount they get.

I realize this makes me sound obnoxious, so feel free to stop reading.

I just find myself stuck between “Shut up and just enjoy what you never had and appreciate what you can do!” and “This is insanity! No wonder they dont appreciate anything!” (which is not 100% true, I must say) In all honesty, you never know what next year is gonna look like, right? 

I got some of my shopping done early, but instead of being content with ‘done’, it gave me more time to hit sales and feel like I couldnt pass up an opportunity. It also gave me time to forget about all the things I already bought-and where they were hidden in some cases.

I have very generous family that also sends gifts to my kids, so I rationalize that the gross overabundance is not entirely my doing.

I’m sure watching them open their gifts and squeal and shout Christmas morning, I will forget the feeling of shame for spoiling them and just focus on how blessed and lucky we are to be able to create the next generation of materialism. 

Party on, spenders! Ho Ho Ho! 

Snow

Published December 20, 2015 by sarcasmica

Some things i’ve learned from my trip to Whistler:

1. There are not a lot of big people/big’uns/ plus size people/chubsters/Snow Rhinos in the snow. 

2. Everything is cardio-hence #1

3. Make sure if you are representing the Snow Rhinos, you do not slip and fall in The Village 

4. Bring EVERYthing because if you lose or forget it, you cannot replace it with Village shops

5. It is in fact possible to sweat your ass off in 30 degree weather

6. Do NOT apply lotion to your dried out Rhino skin before donning snow gear. I dont care how badly the heaters have cracked and dehydrated you. Sweat+lotion+snow pants=disaster

7. No matter how fuzzy and cute, do not pet the bear cub

8. Definitely do the snowmobile tour

9. It’s amazing how much fun you can have while sweat-freezing your Rhino thighs off while being blinded by freezing snow in your useless goggles under a helmet with a full bladder on a snow mobile 

10. Dont drink coffee before any snow activities

11. Jacuzzi in the open air while snowing is a must!

12. Watch out for ski-weilding Villagers passing by in their clickety boots 

 
  
 

Markers

Published December 9, 2015 by sarcasmica

There are certain markers throughout life. Time markers, actual locations, music, etc. When I hear Def Leppard or Skid Row, i’m immediately back in Jr High. The class, the (few) friends I had. The sunny So Cal days, the itchy Catholic school skirt. 

When I see or hear about a Ren Faire, i remember vividly being a shy teen set loose by my dad & step mom to run free through a place that was far beyond my cynical, insecure judgement. Everyone else looked like they were having so much fun, but I could never quite get there.

This day is a date on a calendar. Dec 9. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except for me it actually marks the anniversary of when my dad died. This day used to feel daunting. Too big to process other than a feeling of sadness all day, sometimes all week. It’s the beginning of the flashes. They come when all is quiet. 

The early morning phone call.

The ER

My stepmom crying 

My dad’s still body

The numbness

From there it goes to the order of events, the funeral prep, the support, the funeral, the family trip to Dland to celebrate his pained and often sad life. 

I wonder when i’ll stop going over it all…if ever? I get through it tear-free most years. 

I showed my daughter a picture of her Grandpa this morning. A man she never even had a chance of meeting. She’s 5. Her immediate response was, “Aww, he looks like a good person, mom.” 

He tried. 

  

Breakthroughs

Published December 6, 2015 by sarcasmica

I decided to record this because there are few times I can point to a specific happening and declare, “That was a proud moment as a mom. I did something pretty damn cool.”

I’ve already said we’ve all been living in a frustration bubble lately. Today, after my son freaks out over video games I had HAD IT. Completely. It was ended with a “Get your butt to your room NOW!”

After I reattached my head and turned my brain back on, I decided to go have a chat with him. Something is obviously bothering him.

(Something I learned from a positive parenting course I took two long long years ago.)

The number 1 lesson learned by me was to just talk to your kids. There aren’t any secrets to being a parent. It’s good for them to know it’s hard sometimes. It’s good for them to know I get mad, frustrated, happy, sad, etc.

Anyway, I sat down with him, both of us frustrated, both of us wanting to be heard at the same time. I had to leave once because he wasn’t making an effort that was proactive. But we worked it out.

“Something is obviously going on with you, because I know these actions are not what you want to be doing. Are you feeling good when {this } happens?”

(insert a lot of “I don’t knoooooooow!” and “I just aaaaaaaaam!”)

After very little probing, we figured out a-he’s sad his dad is traveling right now & b-he is dreading a biography report where the kids have to do a speech in front of the class.

Ta Daaaaaa!

Something I knew was looming, and knew he was not happy about, but had no idea it was festering like it was.

Are there other things he’s mad about? Probably. Did we identify every thing that is causing him grief? Probably not. Did I get the big 2? Absolutely.

We worked out a plan for ending video game time. He came up with a surprisingly astute recommendation for himself. “Maybe I can get a snack, mom. Sometimes I don’t realize i’m hungry until i’m already angry.”  Awesome!

We worked some stuff out, it took a good 45 minutes to do it, but we both felt better, and I haven’t had to yell or cuss yet.

The icing on the parent cake was having to help him with a biography report. It was painful. It was hard. It was headache-inducing for me, but we got through what we needed to do tonight.

For that, I am thankful and relieved. My husband was texting me from his solo dinner and hotel room the whole time NOT helping me at all. I told him if he really wanted to help, he’d send a bouquet of alcohol and a bartender to make it pretty.

And now back to your regularly scheduled chaos…

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